Bhubaneswar, April 22 (LocalWire): Two former bureaucrats but rookies in politics are all set to fight it out in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections here on 23 April.
Former IAS officer and BJP candidate Aparajita Sarangi will lock horns with ruling BID candidate and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik.
They are fielded against senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Janardan Pati who has th support of the Congress.
Political observers, however, feel the fight will be between the ruling BJD and the BJP for the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat.
Sarangi, who served as a joint secretary with the Union government, took voluntary retirement to join the BJP last November while Patnaik was looking after the affairs of the Biju Yuva Vahini in the state after formally joining the BJD last year.
Sarangi, who has served as the commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation is a known face for the electorate here and is leaving no stone unturned to make her presence felt in the constituency ever since she joined the saffron party.
Former Mumbai top cop Patnaik, who is relatively new to the constituency, hopes to ride on the organisational strength of the BJD and the popularity of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is eyeing the chief minister’s chair for the fifth consecutive term.
Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency comprises seven Assembly segments – Jayadev (SC), Bhubaneswar Central, Bhubaneswar North, Ekamra-Bhubaneswar, Jatani, Begunia and Khordha.
It has been the citadel of the ruling BJD since 1998.
Sitting MP Prasanna Patsani, who was denied the ticket this year, had won the seat five times in a row.
In 1996, Congress candidate Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, now a BJD Rajya Sabha MP, was elected from this Lok Sabha constituency.
Before that, CPM leader, late Shivaji Patnaik was elected from the seat thrice, in 1977, 1989 and 1991.
The Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency has over 16 lakh voters, including 8,64,256 men, 7,36,263 women and 381 belonging to the ‘other’ category, as per the election commission data.
‘As I move around the constituency, the undercurrent for a strong and decisive government led by Narendra Modi is becoming more apparent.
Many localities here have realised the tactic of the ruling BJD in distributing money and liquor and are now ready to call its bluff,’ said Sarangi.
Patnaik is pinning his hopes on the Chief Minister’s popularity and the organisational strength of the BJD, which won all the Assembly seats coming under the Lok Sabha constituency in 2014 and 2009.
BJD had also won the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation elections the last two times.
‘I am interacting with the maximum number of constituents and discussing their problems. The Chief Minister has worked tirelessly for the people. I hope the people will bless me to serve them, said Patnaik.
BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also held several meetings and roadshows in different Assembly constituencies of Bhubaneswar.